Perception and Factors Influencing Junk Food Consumption among School Children of Pokhara
Introduction: The main problem with junk foods is that they're low in satiation, that is, people don't feel as full when they eat them, which can lead to overeating. Another problem is that junk food tends to replace other more nutritious foods. In our diet over the time, urbanization and recent development in the foods industries have led to the notable increase in junk food production making them readily available, accessible and affordable. The main objective of this study was to understand the perception and identify factors influencing junk food consumption among school level children of Pokhara.
Methods: A cross sectional analytical study was conducted among 220 students of 12 different private schools of Pokhara of grade 4-9. Systematic random sampling was done to select the required samples and the data was collected using self-administered questionnaire and personal interviews.
Results: Majority (81%) of the students considered junk food consumption to be unhealthy. About half of the students were unaware of the nutritive value, quality of the food, ingredients, preservatives used and negative consequences of junk foods. There is a significant difference between the grade of the students and the average frequency of junk food use per week. The average consumption of junk food increases as the grades of students increases.(Chi square =53.025, p ≤0.01).
Conclusion: Consumption of junk food was notably high due to various enabling factors such as addictive taste, changing lifestyle, propagandist advertising and instant availability. Grade and sex of the students were found to be significant predictors in over consuming junk foods.
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